Walks and Activities
COVID 19 Response
The footpaths and Salterns Way cycle path are open but please try and maintain a distance of 2 metres from any other people you encounter. Some of the more popular footpaths have become increasingly busy recently, particularly between Fishbourne and West Wittering and also Prinsted to Cobnor Point.
Walking in Chichester Harbour
Walking is the perfect way to discover the landscape and wildlife of Chichester Harbour. There are over 56 miles of public footpaths with a further 7 miles of permissive routes across the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Many of these paths run right along the shoreline, giving fantastic views across the water and perfect places to stop and birdwatch. Others cut across farmland and through picturesque Harbour villages.
See below for some recommended routes through some of the loveliest scenery. Before you set out, check for closures or diversions on our footpath news page. If you would like to enjoy a walk in the Harbour with an experienced guide who can tell you about the wildlife or flora of the area. See our events and activities page to find out more about the guided walks that we offer.
Below are details of some walks you might like to take. The walks are available as an A4 sized pack entitled Explore Chichester Harbour which can be purchased from the Harbour Office for £12 or you can download individual walks below. Alternatively, we recommend using OS Explorer Map OL8 (Chichester) when walking in this area.
Emsworth to Langstone Oysterbeds 10km / 6 miles
A shoreline walk from Emsworth to Langstone in Chichester Harbour with an extension to the Hayling Billy Line and Old Oyster Beds in Langstone Harbour. The route floods at high tide in a couple of places, so it is recommended to check the tide times before setting out.
Prinsted and Nutbourne Circular 3km / 2 miles
A stroll along easy paths, though with one old-fashioned stile. This route follows the Chichester Harbour shoreline from the pretty village of Prinsted to Nutbourne Bay with splendid views of the Thorney Channel and back through countryside that used to be orchards. This walk is excellent for bird watching in the wintertime on the mudflats at low tide. In summer watch the dinghy sailing at high tide.
Chichester Marina to Dell Quay 7.5km / 4.5 miles
A figure-of-eight walk taking in one of the largest marinas in the country and the tiny village of Dell Quay which was once a busy commercial port.
Itchenor Circular 6km / 4 miles
A walk encircling the Harbour village of Itchenor, passing through farmland, attractive housing and along the shoreline path, with splendid views of the Harbour.
Itchenor to West Wittering Circular 18km / 11 miles
A circular walk from the village of Itchenor to both East and West Wittering. The route starts along a shoreline embankment and then across fields. After a short stretch of road walking it follows field edges to reach the thriving village of East Wittering. From here the route goes along the coastline with views to the Isle of Wight, reaching the popular West Wittering beach and dunes of East Head; the final stretch follows the Harbour shoreline.
West Wittering Beach & East Head 6km / 4 miles
A walk along the sandy beach of West Wittering and around the sand dunes of East Head with far-reaching views across to the Isle of Wight.
Thorney Island Circular 14 km / 9 miles
The ideal walk for those who love sea views. This walk begins in Emsworth and heads south east to the shoreline of Thorney Island, famous for its role as an airfield during WWII. Much of the land is controlled by the MOD, you will come across gates over the paths on both the east and west sides of the island. At Marker Point look out for seals. Please be aware there are no facilities on the island.
Two Villages and a Ferry 16km / 10 miles
Starting in the village of Bosham, the walk cuts across the peninsula then passes through reedbeds to a traditionally managed meadow. Heading down the Fishbourne Channel, the route goes through Dell Quay before arriving at Itchenor to catch the seasonal ferry across the channel.
Chidham Circular 9km / 6 miles
A shoreline and countryside walk of the Chidham peninsula in the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with great views of the Bosham and Thorney channels and to the Harbour entrance. Check when high tide is before setting out as part of the route is tidal but it is lovely to see the tide part way in.
Chichester to Bosham 7km / 4 miles
Starting in the heart of Chichester, this one-way walk leads through urban outskirts to the meadows at Fishbourne. The route then takes in sections of the shoreline before it reaches the ancient village of Bosham. This walk can be extended by following 'Across the Harbour'.
Across the Harbour 10km / 6 miles
This walk is not recommended whilst Covid 19 restrictions are in place as it requires non-esential travel on public transport.
A one way walk across the top of the Harbour channels, ending in the vibrant village of Emsworth. This can be extended as a continuation of the Chichester to Bosham walk.
Sandy Point Stroll 3km / 2 miles
This short walk on Hayling Island has splendid views of the Harbour entrance, the Sandy Point Nature Reserve, and to the wider Solent in general.
Six Harbour Villages - 16km / 10 miles
An attractive walk in the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty walking through the countryside and along the shoreline of six Harbour villages and crossing a channel by ferry.
Easier Access Route - Itchenor 1.6km / 1 mile
Begin in the Itchenor car park and follow the John Davis permissive path to the shoreline.Turn left and follow the path to a viewpoint looking across the Harbour to the Bosham Channel. Return the same way if you are using a wheelchair, or if not you can go via a path through the boatyard to reach the viewing platform by the Harbour Office.
Easier Access Route - Emsworth 1.6km / 1 mile
A stroll on good paths around the thriving Harbourside settlement of Emsworth with a choice of cafés and pubs. Check for high tide in order to
see the water and boating activity. A solar powered boat operates from the public jetty during the summer holidays. It has a wheelchair ramp. See www.conservancy.co.uk for information.
Easier Access Route - Bosham 2km / 1.5 miles
A circular route from the village car park passing the shops of Bosham Walk, the church and the quayside with splendid views to the Harbour. It follows the shoreline road and raised pathway called The Trippett, past pretty houses and a pub called The Berkeley Arms and The Millstream Hotel.
Easier Access Route - Chichester Marina 1.7km / 1 mile
A stroll around the perimeter of Chichester Marina with two short optional extensions of walking around Salterns Copse and visiting Birdham Pool. The circuit around the Marina perimeter is suitable for visitors who use a wheelchair or mobility scooter.
Easier Access Route - North Common 2km / 1.25miles
A short stroll through natural scrub and along the shoreline of Chichester Harbour, with splendid views to Emsworth and the South Downs as a backdrop in the distance. There is a kissing gate and a 1-bar gate with a RADAR padlock at the start and the path is suitable for those using a wheelchair/mobility scooter for about half the total distance. This is also a good location for bird watching in the wintertime.
Chichester Harbour Trail - 3 days of walks
Day One A 18km (11½ mile) linear coastal and shoreline route of Chichester Harbour starting at the famous sandy beach at West Wittering and passing by the National Trust sand dunes of East Head, Itchenor, a hub for sailing and the base for the Chichester Harbour Conservancy, Birdham, home to Chichester Marina, Dell Quay which has the Crown and Anchor pub on the shoreline and finishing by the Mill Pond in Fishbourne.
Day Two A 15km (9½ mi) linear countryside and shoreline walk in the Chichester Harbour AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) starting by the pond in Fishbourne and heading west, crossing a peninsula to the picturesque settlement of Bosham and then heading north and around the head of the Bosham Channel before following the shoreline of the Chidham peninsula, finishing in Nutbourne at the head of the Thorney Channel.
Day Three A 17km (11 mile) linear walk along the shoreline of Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This third day begins at Nutbourne and heads west through Prinsted and then south to follow the shoreline of Thorney Island all the way round until it reaches Emsworth. From here the route heads along the quay wall and westwards to Warblington, finishing in Langstone
Chichester Harbour is a protected landscape of national importance, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). There are 19 key viewpoints that we think capture the qualities of this special harbour landscape: tranquility, history, wide skies, open sea views, harbour channels, boating activity, saltmarsh, sand dunes, reedbeds, shoreline trees, ancient woodlands, quiet creeks and vibrant villages with the South Downs National Park as a backdrop.
We have installed photoposts at these locations to allow you to capture the same views at different times of the day or of the year and experience how they change whilst staying contantly iconic. Download the map here.
Walking in Hampshire and West Sussex
Things to do for families